Wednesday, 18 April 2007

You're a vampire? Bite me.

Enseha Island
Lat. 64 dgrs 01'00"S, Long. 86 dgrs 40'08"E

(Repost from earlier blog)

I'm quite interested in this thing about the augmentor/immersionist concept. What they mean is that augmentors see SL as an extension of RL (they are "themselves") and immersionists roleplay (they play a role that are not them).

Th reason why it fascinates me is mainly because I think it affects how we interact with each other. Apart from the classical variables when we communicate, such as culture, language, gender and what not, this adds one more variable in this place.

Of course, few of us stand with both feet firmly planted in either camp, but somewhere in between, with an inclination towards one of them. And the line is not only blurry, but probably quite often situational.

Me, I lean towards being an augmentor. Sin T and Sin A is the same person, the former only being an extension of the latter. Some of us are in-game while others in-world.
But I "play" roles too, only they are based on the titles I have received. I am not a naval officer, samurai or aristocrat. But I carry these titles in-world because of the groups I belong to and sometimes for what I have contributed with to these communities. For me, they are marks of recognition and I think I have the right to be proud of these recognitions, just as I am proud to have the opportunity to work and play with these creative people.

I am not a Victorian aristocrat, but I behave in a certain fashion when in Caledon. And enjoy it thoroughly. I am rediscovering and can hone my nautical skills, from when I was younger, in SL. And also, and I think many agree with me, I can wear clothes like my Middle-Eastern long coat (well, it is quite Omayyad Caliphate inspired, I would say) or Japanese hakama or Edwardian jacket and cravat in-world, without anyone hoisting a brow. Trust me, if I could get away with attending a business-meeting IRL in long, dark flowing robes, I would. (For now, retaining my golden earrings has to suffice).

For me, mainly, SL is a place where I can participate in a truly international environment, because to me, at the end of the day, it is not about swordplay, sailing (much as I enjoy both, in both Lives) or creations. Creations were made by people. People are creative and that is it. It is about people, meeting and knowing people. It is Sin who meets people, be it Sin A or Sin T. There is no difference between these two, apart from analogue or digital flesh. (Though my analogue me may consider buying a new skin in 15 years or so).

Sometimes, the conversations become a bit odd though, when an immersionist and an augmentor meet. Like two recent encounters I have had.

One was a girl, looking very ordinary (by SL standards, which means gorgeous, flowing hair and dressed like going to the gala). She said "I play a psychiatrist in SL". I confess being a bit surprised by this comment, and having a degree in Behavioural Sciences myself, I asked her further about it. IRL she is a secretary at an insurance company, but is fascinated by psychology and read mags and "lighter" books about it.
I think SL is a great opportunity for her to learn and discover more about the subject, if she likes to.

The other was with a... well.. a dandy dresser, that's for sure. I think he was a angel of death slash magician slash vampire slash insert something here. I was at our ship, preparing stuff when he appeared. Here are some selected bits from our conversation:

Him: Is this your ship?
Me: No, it belongs to Captain Newt, but I hold the position as Navigator on board.
Him: What you do here?
Me: Well, we got attacked by pirates and as you can see by the damages, we needed to set anchor pretty immediately.
Him: This is my place. Pirates are my friend. (He is not the sim owner. I know her briefly)
Me: Ah. Well, which pirates? XX's crew? (XX being the sim owner)
Him: All pirates.
(After this follows a breif conversation, as I try to explain to him that pirates don't nor didn't have any automatical, mutual allegiance or love for each other, like say football supporters of the same team, just because they were pirates. Not sure if that got through, though).
Him: You have no chance, little human. I am strong and my magic is big.
Me: I assume you are not referring to the Colt in your belt? I have one of those too, so..
Him: No, my big magic.
Me: Ah, orbit devices and such, yep. Know what you mean. Got those too. One griefer too many made me shop at SLX for it.
Him: Maybe I will want your blood. You must leave or I will take it.
Me: Not much blood in this digital body, I'm afraid, but if you're aching for a tussle, I may be able to comply.
Him: You should be afraid me. My magic is strong.
Me (at this time quite occupied working on a couple of prims): Yes, so you mentioned earlier. Well, let me finish what I am doing, since I need to take care of stuff RL in a while, and then we can discuss that fear thing. Ok? (I refrained from saying 'savvy?')
Him: Humans afraid me. Pirates are my friend.

And so on.

Whatever you say, you got to love SL for adding whole new versions of communication to our experience. :)

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